The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book : 'Konyak Nagas' by Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, (1969)

caption: Chapter One. The Material Background
caption: log gongs or xylophones or log-drums ; carvings
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York25:7
text: Like the Aos and other Nagas, the Konyaks possessed large wooden gongs or xylophones, often inaccurately described as log drums, which stood either in special gong houses, or in the front porch of a morung. About 25 feet in length, such a log gong was hollowed from the bole of a single tree. It had a slit running through almost the whole length of the upper side and both ends were shaped in the form of a canoe's prow; this "prow" was decorated with carvings of geometric design and motifs such as suns and human figures. During head-hunting rites baskets containing captured heads were hung up on the gong and two lines of drummers, standing on boards to either side, beat out the appropriate rhythm with wooden mallets.